Graduation certificate woes for DCT and BKP

DCT President said that a condition to have attested graduation certificates in the primary round itself could disqualify DCT and other new parties

With the National Council elections over political parties expect the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) to soon come out with the Election Notification giving the dates for the Primary round of elections to select the final two that will have to compete in the General Elections.

As soon as the notice is out Political parties within a period of a week will have to submit a form called the ‘Letter of Intent’ which has to have the list of 47 tentative candidates.

This is fine by all the political parties, but what has caught the goat of two new political parties Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) and Bhutan Kuen-Nyam (BKP) Party is that the tentative lists of 47 candidates have to also submit attested copies of their graduation certificates.

The two parties claim that they were alerted to this condition only in the second week of April when the General Secretary’s of all five parties meet with the ECB who gave them a copy of the letter of intent.

The ECB on the other hand has clarified that this requirement is there under the ECB regulations and parties should have known it and should have been ready for it.

Both parties, however, feel differently and interpret the Election Act as asking for the attested graduation certificates only in the General Election round where other requirements like Audit Clearance, NOC etc have to be given.

DCT President Lily Wangchuk said, “We would have had no problems if we were informed earlier but we were only informed recently and now some of our candidates have left to get their graduation certificates in Delhi and Chennai where it takes time to issue them.”

The DCT President said that she was worried that now after the NC elections the election notification would soon be issued by the ECB and that some of her candidates may not be able to get the certificates in time and so be disqualified.

She said that if this were to happen then her whole party could get disqualified as the letter of intent asks for all 47 candidates to be there.

She said that this would not only affect her but would affect the chances of other new parties and candidates.

She said a solution would be to either give more time for the notice or drop the need for all 47 candidates to have attested degree certificates. The DCT President said that if the ECB would like to impose stricter conditions then it should also impose the need for Audit Clearances in the Primary round itself.

She said that there were at least seven candidates who did not have the attested certificates.

DCT so far has 41 confirmed candidates with six who are expected to confirm soon.

Meanwhile, the BKP President Sonam Tobgye also expressed his concern listing out two main issues.

“First and foremost attestation of qualification by law is part of the nomination process only in the second round where there is scrutiny of candidates and they have to submit various forms like asset declaration from, PIT, etc,” said Sonam.

“Second, demanding the attested certificates in the first round is something on which we need to have consensus. At this point and time most of our candidates are in far flung areas and the attestation process will pose difficulties and they will also have to use this precious in processing the documents,” he added.

He said this was an issue of legality and he said that the ECB should examine the legality of having attested certificates in the first round.

He said, “BKP is committed to be the most law abiding political party in terms of electoral rules but we will be firm if too much is asked of us.”

He quoted section 199 of the Election Act which says, “The scrutiny of nominations for any election to the National Assembly, National Council or a Local Government shall take place on the day immediately following the last date for making nominations announced by the Election Commission under section 198.”

He stressed the point that the attestation of certificates as per the Act should not be there for the primary round.

BKP has 44 candidates with three more to go.

Druk Nyamprup Tshogpa Spokesperson Dr Tandin Dorji said that his party was not affected as out of the 47 candidates only person had to go back to India to collect his certificates. “Whether we are affected or not we feel that the rules should not be stringent on requirements at the Primary round.”

He said that for DNT all 47 were ready to except that they were in the process of finalizing someone for Gasa.

People’s Democratic Party Vice President and Spokesperson Damcho Dorji said, “All parties were informed by the ECB and the parties themselves should know by checking the Election Act. He said that the minimum would be checked by ECB to see if a candidate can qualify to contest.”

He said that PDP has all 47 candidates ready. He, however said that of them 39 were the candidates they wanted and they were looking for some more people but even if they did not come they still would have enough back up candidates.

The DPT Secretary General Thinley Gyamtsho said that more or less DPT would have the same candidates and so DPT would not have any problems.

The Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said that whatever was required was laid down in the Constitution, Election Act and Election Rules and the qualifications were accordingly asked for.

He said that candidates could be leaders and dictate the future course of the nation and so they should have the necessary academic, personal and other attributes. He said that the elections were not a means of employment for any kind of job.

Tenzing Lamsang / Thimphu


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  1. The Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi wants PDP,DCT and DNT to merge.It took 5 years for him to sort things out ..what an efficient man.

  2. Dont have to do a last minute rush to Delhi or Chennai…Copies could be bought from Jaigoan…Some candidates may not have graduated

  3. When these people had the heart and desire to serve Bhutan, how did they not have the conscience of degree certificate being necessary? How many fresh degree holders can we have in our parliament which is still at the initial stage and needs to be strengthened? Druk Child Tshokpa and Bhutan Kid’s Party really need to think seriously of their interests to serve our glorious nation.

  4. Yes, the ECB needs to be very discreet in the scrutiny of certificates as Deb pointed out. Many would not have graduated and many would have purchased certificates. I hope there is a mechanism or tool to determine the authenticity of the certificates.

    If we do not have yet, please put in place. For this matter, every Institute or Organisation need to ensure authenticity of certificates because certificates are easily available these days.

  5. Behold that brave heart! Children and kids coming to the rescue, nation that is drowned by the inteligent and matured with the hidden intents, ought to be saved by those who think should live long. Druk Children Tshogpa and Bhutan Kid’s party will lead the nation with a light.
    Alternatively there are a lot of people who still want the Druk Pisser”s Tshogpa(DPT) to piss on the face of our children and Popularized Destruction Party (PDP) to destroy the concsience of the people.
    Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, a party with few good people should select their candidates before going to contest, i am against selective people. All candidates who went to do masters without being employed somewhere and those that have dirty family politics be removed for the good of the party.
    Any one who never saw the people of the grass root so long as he was employed somewhere is least wanted here, One of the candidate in Nyamrup said “i hate farmers and poor people, let this but be a personal talk”. Do you think anyone will vote for party with such people?
    I am as rich as an average Bhutanese is, i am rich because there are some poor people. Which party do you think i support? none! DPT will win, i will not vote this time

  6. Thank god for small mercies, TL the tool is not blaming this on the DPT government.

  7. Yes Mr. Good. this is the only article where there is no link to the DPT. TL should have made PM accountable and responsible if anything went wrong i.e. if any party could not produce all 47 candidates’ attestation in the primary round.

  8. Its good policy to screen out fresh graduates ruling the country. Good idea! chirwang is flop and should be knock out while filing their letter of intent!

  9. One of the important features of democracy in Bhutan is that all MPs must have University Degrees. But given the short time & notice EC should consider the candidates producing Faxed copies of college degrees and with the assurance by a certain date the original copies will be produced.

    If Singapore can issue Trade Licences to foreign companies in a couple of days & our own Home Affairs can give Police Certificate do the same thing –  on line – surely we can work something out so that on the one hand it makes it more convenient to the new parties and on the other there is a system to check fraud cases. For goodness sake don’t disquailfy the few parties have this time unless we want a repeat of the last elections and elect a party that feels they are above the law, indespensible and must make hay while the sun shines.

    But what about RCSC rules that all civil servants must have authentic University Degrees. There are many people in the govt, including at the senior level who don’t have University degrees! What is RCSC doing about this form of corruption?


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